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Duluth opera has non-Indian cast in 'Pocahontas'
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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An attempt to stage an opera intended to celebrate American Indian culture is now facing an accusation of racial insensitivity.
The Duluth Festival Opera's production of "Pocahontas: A Woman of Two Worlds," is a one-act chamber opera about the young American Indian woman who eased relations between American Indians and Europeans in the 1600s.
When the cast was named, no American Indians landed principal roles - not even Pocahontas, a Powhatan Indian.
Duluth Festival Opera director Craig Fields said auditions didn't generate interest from the American Indian opera performers from around the country. But Lyz Jaakola, an operatic mezzo soprano and member of the Fond du Lac Band, said the DFO didn't try hard enough or in the right ways and that there is no excuse for non-natives to "play Indian" in 2011.
Transfer Station, Four New Landfills to Open at Red Lake
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by Photos and Story by Michael Meuers,
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Red Lake has received a grant and loan to build a transfer station and four brand new landfills, one for each reservation community, said Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain Jr., in a recent address to the people.   ??"New solid waste construction sites will be constructed in all districts this year.  This will be a major improvement to our waste management capabilities", said Jourdain.  This project will also create several additional jobs.  ??As part of grant funding received from USDA Rural development, MN DOT, U.S Dept of Energy, and the federal highway administration, the Red Lake solid waste management team has purchased new garbage trucks for the transfer/ solid waste program.  In addition there will be a multi-million dollar solid waste recycling facility at Red Lake. ??Gilbert "Gil" Lussier, Solid Waste/Transfer Station Director, was it's first employee, beginning work back in 1995.  During a recent interview, one could hear the excitement in Lussier's voice as he described all that was going on at Red Lake in the area of waste management.  ??In his own words, Lussier is "kind of addicted to this business in a way," he likes the work and he's been advocating for better policies for a long time.  He said is very pleased with the direction the tribal council is going with this issue.  "Before this new initiative," said Lussier, "we had nothing but dumps.  Here, (at the Red Lake site) we will have hazardous waste disposal, and household waste e.g. appliances, tires, batteries, etc., which will be picked up and shipped to other facilities daily."??Lussier talked about what he called the first phase of what waste management is going through.  Each community will have rear load containers, fences will deter bears and dogs, and there will be prescribed times to use waste sites.   "We have a highly trained and versatile team," stated Lussier.  "This group of workers can do each other's jobs if necessary."??"This (Red Lake) will be the first site to open," Lussier said. "One is now being prepped in Ponemah.  Little Rock is done but not open.  We will wait for Red Lake to be completed and open both at the same time."  ??"Right now we have dumpsters out there that handle six cubic yards of waste.  New dumpsters will handle twice as much at 12 cubic yards," explained Lussier.  "There will be ten at each site in all four communities."??A new large structure nearly completed, is the Tipping Building.  Garbage trucks will pick up bins, dump them into the trucks where the garbage is compacted, and then travel to the new tipping building.
New Fitness Center to be Part of Larger "Rec Center"
Friday, October 07 2011
 
Written by Photos and Story by Michael Meuers,
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running_wolf_fitness_story.jpgWhen the new Red Lake casino was built on the reservation line on Highway 89, Red Lake Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr. said in his State of the Band message, that the tribe would "turn the Humanities Center back to the people."The Red Lake Humanities Center, built in the 1970's was the former home for the casino and has been used for many things from hockey games to swimming.  It has housed tribal programs from Head Start to college classes, and everything in between.  Funerals, boxing matches, concerts, bingo, powwows, and more...the Red Lake Humanities Center has been a versatile venue indeed.When Indian Gaming began, the Humanities Center was used - for a short-lived time - as a bingo hall with a casino on the north end.  The bingo hall lasted only a short time, but the casino lasted until early 2010 when a new first class casino was built near the south reservation line.Now a refurbishing has begun in the area of the old casino at the Humanities Center.  Part will be for Elderly Nutrition, and another area will house a new Fitness Center.
Red Lake To Restore Great Pine Forests
Saturday, September 10 2011
 
Written by Story and photos by Michael Meuers,
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red lake restores great pines 1.jpgRecently, the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation completed construction of a new Forest Development Center that will enable them to begin the reforestation of the majestic pine that once covered it's aboriginal homelands. Most of the great pine stands are gone and have been replaced with other species. They were logged by the BIA, and the resource depleted.

Now the Red Lake Nation is working to bring the great pine forests back. Part of the plan of the Forestry Settlement Agreement with the federal government requires reforestation of the Red Lake Indian Forest. The big pine area, which has been replaced by poplar and other types of deciduous trees, will be reforested with pines.
Of the project, Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr. said, "A certain amount of money has been allotted to reforest, re-stock our forests, I feel it mirrors the return of the walleye."
US Forest Service opens Sacred Sites Report for public comment
Saturday, September 10 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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The U.S. Forest Service has opened for public comment through the Federal Register a draft report that outlines its policies and procedures on Indian Sacred Sites.
The 60-day comment window follows on-going dialogue between the Forest Service and Tribal representatives on Sacred Sites. The Forest Service will accept public comments on the draft report while honoring its responsibility to consult with Indian Tribes.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requested an internal review and consultation with Tribes to determine if existing law, regulations and policies affecting Sacred Sites provide a consistent level of protection.
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